Schwarzkopf, the future four-star general, was born Aug. 24, 1934, in Trenton, N.J. He was raised as an army brat in Iran, Switzerland, Germany and Italy, following in his father's footsteps to West Point and being commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1956.
Schwarzkopf's father, who shared his name, directed the investigation of the Lindbergh baby kidnapping as head of the New Jersey State Police, later becoming a bridgadier general in the U.S. Army.
The younger Schwarzkopf earned three Silver Stars for bravery during two tours in Vietnam, gaining a reputation as an opinionated, plain-spoken commander with a sharp temper who would risk his own life for his soldiers.
"He had volunteered to go to Vietnam early just so he could get there before the war ended," said former Army Col. William McKinney, who knew Schwarzkopf from their days at West Point, according to ABC News Radio.
In 1983, as a newly-minted general, Schwarzkopf once again led troops into battle in President Reagan's invasion of Granada, a tiny Caribbean island where the White House saw American influence threatened by a Cuban-backed coup.
But he gained most of his fame in Iraq, where he used his 6-foot-3, 240-pound frame and fearsome temper to drive his troops to victory. Gruff and direct, his goal was to win the war as quickly as possible and with a focused objective: getting Iraq out of Kuwait.
"If it had been our intention to take Iraq, if it had been our intention to destroy the country, if it had been our intention to overrun the country, we could have done it unopposed," he said at a military briefing in 1991.
He spoke French and German to coalition partners, showed awareness of Arab sensitivities and served as Powell's operative man on the ground.
Powell today recalled Schwarzkopf as "a great patriot and a great soldier," who "served his country with courage and distinction for over 35 years."
"He was a good friend of mine, a close buddy," Powell added. "I will miss him."